Copyright is a set of rights exclusively granted by law to the author or creator of an original work. Examples would include novels, articles, plays, poetry, music, and other types of intellectual works. The copyright allows the owner the right to distribute, adapt and copy the work as they see fit. For instance, owners of a copyright could license the use of their works, as well as transfer or assign the copyright to others.

Works that have been created after 1978 are automatically under the protection of copyright law. Anything that was created prior to 1978, the copyright lasts for 75 years from the date of publication or renewal of copyright. If an individual violates the copyright of an author or creator, he or she can be prosecuted under US law. However, there are two main limitations to the US Copyright law. One can have limited uses of copyrighted materials through the paying of royalties and also through the doctrine of fair use.

The doctrine of fair use is as an exception to the exclusive rights that are guaranteed by US copyright law. The limitations are found in sections 107-118 in US copyright law. This allows for some limited use of the copyrighted work without having to get permission from the individual that has been granted copyright privileges. Some examples of fair use would be criticism, research, archival in a library, and scholarship.

Copyright Information

Fair Use